The 2015 NBA Draft took place on Thursday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. In all, 60 different players heard their name called and two dozen walked across the stage to shake hands with NBA commissioner Adam Silver and deputy commissioner Mark Tatum.
Now the anticipation is over and the real work begins. Each team hopes the new addition to its roster will be the missing piece to a championship puzzle.
Here’s a look at the biggest winners of the draft.
1. Minnesota Timberwolves
The Timberwolves got their man, selecting Kentucky center Karl-Anthony with the first overall pick in the draft. Towns showed off his physical game for the Wildcats, but has surprising skill and touch for a big man. Along with Towns, Minnesota acquired Minneapolis product Tyus Jones to supplement the backcourt. Minnesota is not typically considered a destination, but bringing in a local product could be the perfect way to bring the roster together.
2. New York Knicks
The Knickerbockers picked up one of the biggest mysteries of the draft in Latvian big man Kristaps Porzingis. While he may not have the same name recognition as some college stars, Porzingis has the talent to be the best player in the draft. The 7’1” forward previously played in Spain and averaged 11 points per game in a league where players do not often get the playing time to accumulate numbers. Along with Porzingis, the Knicks added former Notre Dame guard Jerian Grant through a trade. Grant is a steady point guard who can give head coach Derek Fisher quality minutes from day one.
3. Boston Celtics
The C’s probably reached on shooting guard Rashad Vaughn, but he fills one of their biggest holes: scoring. Vaughn was a prolific scorer at UNLV and is projected to be able to put the ball in the basket at the next level. But the best pick of the day for Boston was R.J Hunter, who the Celtics acquired through trade. Hunter flew under the radar most of the year before knocking down a 3-pointer to knock out Baylor in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Hunter is one of the best shooters in this draft, and Boston could desperately use the floor spacing.
4. Miami Heat
It’s hard to say whether Justise Winslow will be a superstar. But what we can say is that Winslow was a steal with the No. 10 pick. The Heat have uncertainty at both wing positions, with both Dwyane Wade and Luol Deng hitting free agency. But Winslow could slide in right away and be a key player for a Miami team that likely has no intention of going through rebuilding. A lineup of Goran Dragic, Wade, Justise Winslow, Chris Bosh; and Hassan Whiteside should compete for a playoff berth right away.
5. India basketball
With the 52nd pick in the draft, the Dallas Mavericks selected Satnam Singh, the first ever Indian basketball player. Singh grew up in a small Indian village in the Punjab region until he came to the states in 2010 to train and develop his basketball skills. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said it best: “There’s a billion new Mavs fans out there now.” Singh is incredibly raw, but stands at 7’2” and 290 pounds as a 19-year-old. If he can learn to play against players his size, Singh could have a chance down the line. The Mavs also drafted Virginia wing Justin Anderson, who projects to be an instant contributor.
Photos: Elsa/Getty Images (Draft), Nathaniel S. Butler /NBAE via Getty Images (Towns, Singh), Jennifer Pottheiser/NBAE via Getty Images (Porzingis, Winslow), Charles Rex Arbogast/AP (Hunter)
2015 NBA Draft: Winners of the Draft
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